Wroten Picks UW, Brown Picks Oregon in an Historic Days Events

Oct 7, 2010, 7:34 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 11:20 am

What a day for the Pac-12, as Washington will start its tenure in the newly expanded league with a great puzzle piece in Tony Wroten Jr. and Oregon will attempt to rebuild with another one in Jabari Brown. Though sources had informed us that Brown was seriously considering UW down to the last few hours before his announcement, Jabari picked up the Duck hat.

Washington was not the only one spurned by Brown for the Nike factory school, as the San Francisco Examiner confirmed reports that Cal had made a late push.

Brown’s explanation was tainted by mention of Phil Knight and Nike, who are constantly being tied, according to numerous reports to using their influence to convince players to come to Eugene. The Seattle Times Percy Allen pointed to a quote that I felt was very telling.

“Phil Knight does a great job of helping and building new facilities like Matthew Knight Arena and the practice facility for the players to come in and play and I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of this. It (Knight) was definitely a factor. I love Nike. I’ve always worn Nike. But I think ultimately it was the coaching staff because I would never choose a school because of the shoes. I have to really feel comfortable there and that’s how Coach Altman made me feel.”

Whether that influence consists of tactics that are NCAA violations, is currently at issue at this point with the discoveries and subsequent NCAA investigations involving former Duck center Michael Dunigan and other former high level Oregon signees.

Oregon could be facing NCAA sanctions, as this story continues to develop, but in Wroten’s case nothing more than good vibes and purple pride emanated from the Garfield High School Gym on Thursday. Wroten is a very important recruit for Washington. Mason Kelley of The Seattle Times video taped the event.

With the Dawgs losing Venoy Overton and Justin Holiday, Tone’s advanced ability to disrupt on the defensive end, as well as his athleticism and speed on both ends are going to go a long way to absorbing the blow of their loss to the program. UW will be very tough at guard next season.

ESPN’s Paul Biancardi praised Wroten for his passing and high upside.

“Over the years of analyzing his game, it’s easy to see he handles the ball with confidence, beats opponents off the bounce and carries defenders with him into the paint. Once he’s inside the lane, he is a master at making the drop-off pass to the bigs for a quick dunk or the kick-out pass to someone spotting up from three. He also scores well over most bigs in the lane because the tall lefty is 6-foot-5, 206 pounds with an 80-inch wing span and powerful body. Wroten also has a respectable mid-range jumper, but his 3-point shot needs work. Regardless, he is a great fit in Romar’s system.”

Abdul Gaddy and Wroten will run the point, with support from Isaiah Thomas who is in position with a similar season to his last two at Washington, to walk away from the school with the all-time scoring record among many others.

Wroten, who displayed his prowess as a defender while leading the Team USA U-17 team to the gold medal this summer in Germany, is well equipped to help with his size and length defend many of the top wing scorers that UW will face.

In that way Tone can earn minutes while filling the role that Venoy does currently off the bench and Holiday does from the starting line-up. I would expect Wroten to play long minutes, but that isn’t all that the Dawgs bring to the table on the perimeter.

Scott Suggs, C.J, Wilcox and Terrence Ross, plus support if needed from Tone’s “best friend” Hikeem Stewart will benefit from Wroten world-class ability to pass and penetrate. As I stated in Husky Digest the other day, Wroten is a better fit for UW and if they had to pick one, Tone was my choice for those and other reasons.

Brown would have been a great fit for Washington too, but with Ross, Wilcox and Suggs, not a player that would have filled such a huge immediate need. Now Washington will look to find another big man or two, depending on the academic status of 2011 post commit Kevin Davis, who is attempting to get his associate degree in less that two years at Tacoma CC.

Candidates for those remaining spots include Norvel Pelle, DeAndre Daniels, Angelo Chol or possibly a transfer. Pelle, who recently had an in-home with Washington that reportedly went very well, is a tall, talented athlete who can run the floor and block shots with the best of them.

Daniels projects as a small forward on the pro level, but would be a great fit for the UW system in a role similar to what fans saw from Quincy Pondexter this past season. Chol is a brutal and strong athlete, who is getting attention from a number of major schools, but will visit Washington with the last of his official visits.

Washington has been on Chol for a long time, but as we’ve now seen with Brown, anything can happen when the “big boys” get involved. Who knows who might end up where, when all is said and done, but in Wroten’s case it seems to me that his decision was made for the right reasons on a number of levels.

The volatile climate of college basketball made for a tumultuous off-season and continued NCAA actions will potentially yield more upheaval in the area of transfers and possibly November signees that could be made available through coaching changes or worse.

Isaiah Thomas was the subject of an interview with the Seattle Times’ Percy Allen on Wednesday.

In the interview “IT” talking glowingly about a number of players including Terrence Ross (“NBA player”), Aziz N’Diaye (“as advertised”), C.J. Wilcox (“Best shooter in the conference”), Desmond Simmons (“He’s just everywhere”) and Darnell Gant (biggest surprise).

Always irreverent, Isaiah spoke about the two new members of the Pac-10 (Colorado and Utah) who he will face as a senior.

“Those are kind of football schools though.”

Isaiah echoed the sentiment that Justin Holiday shared with us on “Talkin’ Hoops” recently that a good start was the focus for this year’s UW team, when he was asked about the mind set of the team going into the year.

“Just working hard. We got the talent. Everybody knows that. We know that ourselves. So just working hard and always bringing it. And just trying to find our roles earlier than we did the previous two years.”

Isaiah is one big reason that the Dawgs are slated by many to contend for the Pac-10 crown and national honors, but he has also gained enough notoriety to be named as a Wooden Award finalist in the preseason on Tuesday.

Here’s the list with players who have Northwest, Pac-10 or UW ties in bold:

Ty Abbott 6-3 Sr. G Arizona State Pac-10

Lavoy Allen 6-9 Sr. F Temple Atlantic 10

Kevin Anderson 6-0 Sr. G Richmond Atlantic 10

Talor Battle 6-0 Sr. G Penn State Big Ten

Kenny Boynton 6-2 So. G Florida SEC

William Buford 6-5 Jr. G Ohio State Big Ten

Alec Burks 6-6 So. G Colorado Big 12 Dad was a Husky Team mate of Lorenzo Romar

Randy Culpepper 6-0 Sr. G UTEP Conference USA

Malcolm Delaney 6-3 Sr. G Virginia Tech ACC

LaceDarius Dunn 6-4 Sr. G Baylor Big 12

Kim English 6-6 Jr. G Missouri Big 12

Corey Fisher 6-1 Sr. G Villanova Big East

Jimmer Fredette* 6-2 Sr. G Brigham Young Mountain West

Austin Freeman 6-4 Sr. G Georgetown Big East

Ashton Gibbs 6-2 Jr. G Pittsburgh Big East

Steven Gray 6-5 Sr. G Gonzaga West Coast Bainbridge Island WA

Jordan Hamilton 6-7 So. G/F Texas Big 12

Elias Harris 6-7 So. F Gonzaga West Coast

Jeremy Hazell 6-5 Sr. G Seton Hall Big East

John Henson 6-10 So. F North Carolina ACC

Cory Higgins 6-5 Sr. G Colorado Big 12

Tyler Honeycutt 6-8 So. F UCLA Pac-10

Robbie Hummel* 6-8 Sr. F Purdue Big Ten

JaJuan Johnson 6-10 Sr. F/C Purdue Big Ten

Kris Joseph 6-7 Jr. F Syracuse Big East

Kawhi Leonard 6-7 So. F San Diego State Mountain West UW recruit

Jon Leuer 6-10 Sr. F Wisconsin Big Ten

Kalin Lucas* 6-1 Sr. F Michigan State Big Ten

Shelvin Mack 6-3 Jr. G Butler Horizon League

Demetri McCamey 6-3 Sr. G Illinois Big Ten

E’Twaun Moore 6-4 Sr. G Purdue Big Ten

Marcus Morris 6-9 Jr. F Kansas Big 12

Jacob Pullen 6-0 Sr. G Kansas State Big 12

John Shurna 6-8 Jr. F Northwestern Big Ten

Kyle Singler* 6-8 Sr. F Duke ACC Medford OR and UW recruit

Chris Singleton 6-9 Jr. F Florida State ACC

Nolan Smith 6-2 Sr. G Duke ACC

Tracy Smith 6-8 Sr. F North Carolina State ACC

Durrell Summers 6-5 Sr. G Michigan State Big Ten

Jeffery Taylor 6-7 Jr. G/F Vanderbilt SEC

Isaiah Thomas 5-9 Jr. G Washington Pac-10

Trey Thompkins 6-10 Jr. F Georgia SEC

Klay Thompson 6-6 Jr. G Washington State Pac-10

Joe Trapani 6-8 Sr. F Boston College ACC

Brandon Triche 6-4 So. G Syracuse Big East

Nikola Vucevic 6-10 Jr. F USC Pac-10

Kemba Walker 6-1 Jr. G Connecticut Big East

Derrick Williams 6-8 So. F Arizona Pac-10

Jordan Williams 6-10 So. F Maryland ACC

Chris Wright 6-8 Sr. F Dayton Atlantic 10

Though Isaiah did not mention his back court mate Abdul Gaddy to Percy, he made up for it by tweeting major praise on Thursday.

“I promise yall Gaddy wil b a 1st rd pic n he wil b laughin @ yall who doubted n talkd ish! His game isnt 4 college its 4 the NBA! ala DWILL”

Matthew Bryan-Amaning was not chosen for the Wooden List preseason, but he was mentioned by Rivals as one of the list’s 18 “Biggest Snubs”.

Rivals’ Jason King also picked the Washington/Texas A+M game as one of the top games to look forward to this season.

King only picked only three Pac-10 games, but also chose three Gonzaga games. Like ESPN’s similar feature that was even worse, this an even bigger “Snub” for the Pac-10. The truth is though that Gonzaga’s non-conference schedule is the meat of their schedule and it speaks well for the Zags that they have once again put together a non-league slate worthy of note.

Quincy Pondexter was a riot in a video clip in which he performs in a pink showgirl outfit, including pink a pink wig, as part of his rookie hazing in New Orleans.

Husky great Quincy will obviously not be embarrassed by anything that he sees in the Big Easy, including Mardi Gras.

Another former Dawg Senque Carey, who started as a freshman in 1997-1998 under Bob Bender, left his assistant coaching job at Fresno State for a high school head job at Menlo-Atherton High School in the Bay Area right near the Stanford campus.

From the sounds of things when Carey explained his reasoning for the decision it appears that Senque, who transferred to New Mexico after two years in the Husky program, wants to lighten his load a bit.

“The opportunity to coach locally will allow me more time to meet the needs of my family.”

Husky Recruiting Corner

2011 UW post commit Jernard Jarreau was the featured guest on “Talkin’ Hoops” this past Monday night at 8PM (PST).

Jernard provided more info on his game, his decision and of course his personality in the radio interview then has yet to be revealed to UW fans and I’m sure that those that listen to the podcast will agree that Jarreau was a steal for the Dawgs.

2011 UW commit Hikeem Stewart was the subject of a nice profile from Calhisports.com that describe him as solid pick-up for the Dawgs.

“A dynamic guard who can attack the basket, shoot from deep, and lock down a 1 or 2, Stewart should find immediate playing time as a Husky, and if guards Abdul Gaddy and Isaiah Thomas leave Seattle early for the draft, a starting spot.”

2011 UW post prospect Angelo Chol will visit 5 schools officially. He already visited Alabama on September 11th and according to Scout with visit Kansas on October 16th, North Carolina on New Years Day 2011, Arizona on January 29th and finally UW on February 12th. The Dawgs will host Stanford at Hec-Ed that day.

2012 forward prospect Winston Shepard is an elite level recruit. According to northstarbball.com Shepard is being recruited by the UW.

According to the piece Shepard is being recruited by a number of schools but that Washington is also showing interest along with UCLA, UConn, Kentucky and Washington State.

2013 UW wing recruit Jabari Parker took part in the John Lucas Midwest Invitational in Louisville KY this past weekend, according to ESPN

The list of schools after Parker is growing and the competition for him for UW will be fierce, but Lorenzo Romar’s relationship with his dad Sonny could put UW up in line for the top-5 prospect.

“Michigan State, Illinois, DePaul, Purdue, Georgetown, Texas A&M, Washington and Memphis, among others have been by Simeon to check out Parker and everyone that has come in has offered.”

At the event, the big story was Parker’s match-up with fellow top-5 2013 prospect Andrew Harrison, according to Coast2coastrecruiting.com.

Jabari also visited Kentucky unofficially while in the state, according to Rivals.

2013 UW recruit Aaron Gordon has been raising eyebrows. According to ESPN Gordon is six-foot-six and 215 lbs. and was, “Arguably the most dominant player in camp at the Dinos Trigonis All Frosh/Soph Fullcourt Press Camp”.

“Gordon plays with great energy at both ends and can hurt his opponent inside and out due to his evolving skill set.”

Ballislife.com compiled a video highlight reel of Gordon, who is the younger brother of former UCLA and current New Mexico forward Drew Gordon, that shows Aaron to be quite an athlete for such a young kid.

Pac-10 Round Up

According to ESPN the Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Tournament is very possibly going to be going through some changes.

“I suspect it’ll be after next year’s tournament where we’re going to try some new things. We’re going to try to inject some new excitement and marketing around that event. We’re really trying to elevate it from where it’s at. And that will be about the time we’re negotiating our TV deals, and currently the right to decide the location of the basketball championship is with one of our media partners — FOX. It was licensed to them as part of that TV deal. The first decision we’ll take next spring is will we continue to license to one of our media partners the right to place our basketball championship somewhere? Or is that something we’re going to take back and control ourselves?”

It appears that whatever network broadcasts the Pac-12, that there is a certain intention to change the format of the tournament.

Rivals commented that perhaps the “best option” would be to rotate the site.

“Permanently moving the tournament to another site is certainly an option, but there’s no guarantee event-driven cities like Seattle, Las Vegas, Phoenix or San Francisco would produce more buzz or larger crowds. If Scott is truly convinced that moving the tournament is the best option, perhaps rotating sites would be the best option.”

WSU’s Head Coach Ken Bone was the subject of a chat with Seattle Times readers on Thursday.

Bone really gave a revealing portrayal of the state of the program in Pullman. Scout did a feature on Bone’s appearance on KJR-AM in Seattle.

In it Ken was quoted as saying that for the Cougs, “A top-five finish for the Cougars in the Pac-10 is realistic”.

Oregon (or Nike, depending on what you believe) may be making a serious attempt to bring in players for Dana Altman with the addition of Brown to their class of 2011.

Bringing in help for a team that has been seriously depleted by the difficult coaching transition and run of disappointing seasons despite tremendous talent is a bigger trick to pull off in October. That is precisely what Oregon/Nike did though as DuckTerritory.com reported the Ducks would likely add “German forward Martin Seiferth to the men’s basketball program”.

According to information provided by Scout this guy should add to the list of potential amateur issues that are currently being investigated by the NCAA in my opinion.

“He played for three different club teams over the past four seasons, the most recent a stint with VFB Hermsdorf (Berlin) under the direction of head coach Jan Michaelis. Seiferth played two seasons with ALBA Berlin’s youth team for head coach Hendrik Rödl. ALBA Berlin won the Nachwuchs Basketball Bundesliga (NBBL) Championship in the 2008-09 campaign, while finishing as runners-up during the 2007-08 season. Seiferth’s first club team was Marzahner Basket Bären (Berlin) who he played for during the 2006-07 season.”

The Ducks are also attempting to add Jay-R Strowbridge, who will be a senior if his NCAA petition is granted to OK his transfer from Jacksonville, a team that beat ASU in the 1st round of last year’s NIT.

If there wasn’t enough question of impropriety surrounding the Oregon program and the athletes that it chooses to bring in, according to ESPN reported that Strowbridge already transferred once because of an NCAA investigation based on “improperly certified credits for athletes who transferred in”.

Sounds like Jay-R will fit right in at Oregon.

According to 2011 UCLA recruit Adonis Thomas, Husky Digest’s reports from sources that a couple of Bruins are seriously considering ending their college careers after this year, are not without basis. Thomas almost confirmed that report to Zagsblog when reporting on his UCLA visit last weekend with 2011 UCLA recruit Quinn Cook.

“I’ve been knowing Quinn for two, three years now. He’s real good. I talked to him and [freshman guard] Tyler Lamb. We all discussed the guys leaving, [forward] Tyler Honeycutt and [guard] Malcolm Lee might be leaving if they have good years. We could fill those positions and get after it next year.”

ESPN’s Dick Vitale appears to be a Howland supporter though, despite a track record of players and alumni that privately express frustration with the head coach. Vitale stated that he feels that the Bruins will turn things around this year after a dismal 14-18 season in his “20 Burning Questions” feature previewing the season.

“Can UCLA bounce back from a tough season? Coach Ben Howland will return to the upper echelon of the Pac-10.”

I agree with Dick on this one, but after Honeycutt, Lee and others likely leave, the Bruins will be hard pressed to gain much ground. One player that needs to lose, weight that is, is Kent WA’s Josh Smith. According to Rivals, Josh “has lost 40 pounds since June”.

Husky Digest has reported that it has not been that easy and that Josh is very slow on the court still and is considering changing to football.

NW Round Up

According to the Spokane Spokesman-Review Gonzaga has received a commitment from Canadian guard Kevin Pangos.

Pangos was the starting guard for the Canadian U-17 team that won the Bronze medal in Germany over the summer and likely faced-up with Cook and his back-up Wroten.

Jamal Crawford is posturing for a better NBA deal in Atlanta and according to Husky Digest sources would like to play for the Lakers. Crawford told Dime that

“You think something is solid and a family you just want that to be what it is. I would love to be here long-term, no doubts about it. I would love to lock that up before I become a free agent. I want to make it work here. But if that is not the plan I guess I will go elsewhere.”

NCAA Corruption

While the Brown commitment to Oregon opens up many questions as to the potential role of Nike in the recruiting efforts of the school, there appears to be a larger problem that can easily be described as an international epidemic.

According to sandiego8.com, Chen Cai has been busted, as has been a sports marketing group from China.

“(California Interscholastic Federation’s San Diego section’s Dennis) Ackerman told San Diego 6 News the allegations were self reported by the school. They include a lengthy document trail linking Cai to a Chinese sports company called Zou marketing. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, who reported obtaining the documents, Cai received more than $30,000 in gifts and cash from Zou’s Terry Rhoads and Frank Sha.”

A more familiar name in basketball corruption coincidentally was recently rumored to be “coming back” to the summer AAU system with the support of another Chinese company Li Ning. Sonny Vaccaro is still thinking about it, according to Zagsblog, but would not confirm with what company as sponsor.

According to an excerpt from George Dohrmann’s new book, “Play Their Hearts Out”, Sonny is clearly well aware if not a major player in the seedy side of the hoops world.

Bruce Pearl was found to have committed some of the same violations while at Wisconsin Green-Bay according to ESPN’s Andy Katz. Katz reported that, “Multiple sources told ESPN.com that the recruit in question was Mike Schachtner, then a junior at Somerset (Wis.) High School”.

The violation was self-reported by the school. Apparently Pearl felt good about continued use of this recruiting technique when he took a much higher profile job at Tennessee, despite being caught red-handed.

This story led to ESPN analyst Jemele Hill to call for Pearl’s suspension. My question for Ms. Hill is why stop there? Right up the road in Lexington and Louisville KY are a couple more Head Coaches that should also be punished, why the focus on Pearl, who is certainly not the only one or the worst of the lot.

Marc Isenberg, author of the book “Money Players” wrote a nice piece on how hard it is to tell the good guys from the bad in college hoops these days.

In it Marc attempts to paint Pearl as just one of many who feel that cheating is just the way the game is played these days. It sounds depressing, but it brings up another question. isn’t it ultimately the fans that must lay down the lay here. Without their money, there would b e little incentive to those who seek to win profits through cheating.

Dohrmann’s book is based on the early career of former ASU Sun Devil and current New Mexico Lobo Demetrius Walker. In it Dohrmann recants Walker’s story, as he interacts with characters large and small as high level teenage hoops prospect.

AAU coach Joe Keller, former USC Head Coach Tim Floyd, Vaccaro, Tyreke Evans, Lloyd Daniels, AAU coach Dinos Trigonis, talent evaluator Clark Francis and many others. I look forward to reading it.

One last moment of humor for those in the know when it comes to the world of boosters and recruiting.

What’s the difference between a Cal booster and (Coach) Cal’s boosters?

One you have to break their arm to get them to donate money to the program. The other donates money to pay others to break arms to get recruits.

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Wroten Picks UW, Brown Picks Oregon in an Historic Days Events